Let it be known that one should never count his eggs before they are hatched and his votes before they are cast, especially in Pakistani politics. Some weeks ago, it seemed imminent that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) leader, Shah Mehmood Quereshi would replace Khurshid Shah as the opposition leader, as the miraculous seemed to have happen, with Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) and Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) allying together. Even Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) seemed to accept this fate; as Khurshid Shah had admitted that they had the numbers, and the constitutional right, to supplant him.

However, there has been a massive shift in tone all around the field recently. PPP is now hitting back hard, with Zardari calling the PTI scheme a mere dream. Shah Mehmood had to take an embarrassing face saving U-turn on the issue, claiming that his nomination had never been an established decision. MQM’s alliance with PTI becomes increasingly unreliable, especially so with the MQM senators who did an about face and voted for the Elections Reforms Bill. With Imran Khan wading into the issue as an alternative opposition leader – propped up by another PTI faction and egged on by the PPP– the future of the move has gotten even murkier. Perhaps Zardari is correct – getting a new opposition leader is merely a dream.

A new opposition leader – be it Shah Mehmood Qureshi or Imran Khan – would have been a welcome change to the parliamentary dynamic, unfortunately that chance seems to be slipping away. What remains to be seen is if it was PPP politically outmanoeuvring PTI that weakened this plot or whether PTI succumbed to its petty inner squabbling and shot itself in the foot.